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The OECD today released data for April 2010 illustrating that Ireland had the third highest unemployment rate across the OECD area for April 2010.  Ireland with a rate of 13.2 per cent came behind Spain with a rate of 19.7 per cent and the Slovak Republic with a rate of 14.1 per cent. The lowest rates recorded were in Korea with a rate of 3.7 per cent and in the Netherlands with a rate of 4.1 per cent.

In Ireland, absolute numbers of the unemployed have been decreasing since a three year high of 281,000 unemployed persons in November 2009; in April 2010 the figure stood at 275,000.  However, the percentage of the available labour force that is unemployed has held relatively steady at 13.1 per cent from November 2009, with a slight decrease in December 2009 to 13 per cent and a slight increase in April 2010 to 13.2 per cent.  

In the OECD area the unemployment rate was steady in April 2010 at 8.7 per cent and unchanged from March 2010. The number of persons unemployed in the OECD is 46,500,000 and represents 3,300,000 more unemployed persons than in April 2009. The OECD stated that “the general picture is of broad stability across OECD countries.”